Lope de Aguirre, the Tyrant, and the Prince: Convergence and Divergence in Postcolonial Collective Memory

Author's Department

Rhetoric and Composition Department

Find in your Library


Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of International and Intercultural Communication

Publication Date





In Latin America, collective remembering is shaped by stories of colonizers whose voracious ambitions left an indelible mark on the landscape and its people. This essay examines a set of narratives about a legendary colonizer, Lope de Aguirre, that continue to be invoked in the collective imagination on the island of Margarita, in Venezuela. Drawing on Bormann's Symbolic Convergence Theory and Bakhtin's work on cultural discourse, this analysis shows that on the one hand, the narratives converge to support official records of Aguirre as an archetype of colonial brutality. Yet on the other, alternate versions of the stories reveal a more discordant picture, one that complicates Aguirre's character and reevaluates his influence on the island and in the wider context of Latin America. © 2012 Copyright National Communication Association.

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.